Akunbakun update: 1 week expiry date

I made a slight change to Akunbakun, the Facebook application, over the weekend that makes Akunbakun challenges expire one week after they have been set. A message about the expiry is published to the mini feed and news feed along with the names of all those who managed to win that particular challenge.

I plan to add features to make it easier to find which of your friends has an active Akunbakun challenge running as an easier alternative to having to run through profiles to see if they have one.

Meanwhile, the number of users of the application keeps on increasing! :-)

Expiry notice as published in the mini feed

Thaana Unicode<->Ascii conversions PHP class

Here is something that would probably be very handy to Maldivian web developers dabbling with Dhivehi sites. This PHP class addresses the need for converting text to and from Thaana in Ascii and Thaana in Unicode.

The class makes it easy to standardize text into one format irrespective of how it was/is written. This means that you can take text written in Accent, MS Word 97 (and prior) or written using Unicode as featured on recent MS Word editions and use the class to present output in the format of your choice without the need for imposing restrictions on the people who write the text. The class comes in even more handy when you have a form submission that takes input in Unicode but needs to be stored in the database or presented later as Ascii, or vice versa.

The class was something I originally wrote around 2001 and was used in the free Online Document Converter that featured on maldivianunderground.net. I rewrote it for PHP 5 recently for use in a project I am working on. The original class had support for Letin dhivehi -> Unicode/Ascii conversions as well which I haven't included in this release but will add it a future update.

Usage should be pretty straightforward but here is an example just to illustrate:

require 'thaana_conversions.obj.php';
$thaana = new Thaana_Conversions();

echo $thaana->convertUnicodeToAscii('&#1931;&#1960;&#1928;&#1964;&#1920;&#1960;');
echo $thaana->convertAsciiToUnicode('rWacje');

- Thaana_Conversions.zip (v0.1, 2KB)

Enjoy :-)

Update (7-May-2008): This version is now superseded by v0.2.

Updated: PHP script for Hulhule flight info

I'm releasing an update to the Hulhule FlightInfo PHP class I released late last year as a response to a feature request I received recently. The update adds support for flight information for all the days as available on the Flight Information Services site rather than the current-day-only mode that the original script supported. A small demo script is packaged in the download to highlight the usage details.

The Hulhule Flight Info class simplifies access to the flight information by doing the dirty work of grabbing the HTML page from the FIS site, parsing it, extracting the required information and making it accessible as a multidimensional array. It supports grabbing both the arrival and departure information and is easy to use. It has since been integrated into a few sites by different people.

- Download the flightinfo class v0.2

Enjoy :-)

Akunbakun for Facebook - 100th user and Rankings

Akunbakun for Facebook, which I released last month, racked up it's 100th user today and so I'm celebrating the occasion by adding a new feature: Ranking.

Ranking is basically the success rate of the user on the Akunbakun challenges they take up. Numerically, it is simply a ratio between the number of wins and the number of tries taken. I added the feature to allow users to know how they are doing overall and to entice people to play more and get better scores. ;-)

Ranking, along with a few minor fixes and enhancements, has been rolled out a while ago and the Akunbakun box on the profile pages of all those who have added the application would now reflect the change.


The new Ranking feature on Akunbakun

My presentation on cybernetics at FMC: thoughts and photos

I gave a presentation titled "Cybernetics and Intelligent Search", as I had mentioned earlier, at the Faculty of Management and Computing at the Maldives Center for Higher Education in late September this year. The presentation went as planned and went well but I'm not too sure what impact it had on the attendees. The presentation was attended by about 20 or so students of FMC but they all kept awfully quiet throughout and especially in the Q&A slot. The only time anyone reacted was during the demonstration of some A.I systems in practice. I guess I have to take comfort in the reassurance by a FMC faculty member present that this was standard response by students!

I am very thankful to Adam Khalid (Assistant Coordinator, Bachelor of IT) and the Faculty for hosting my presentation and arranging it all. I am also grateful to the students who attended the presentation and sat through the entire hour and I sincerely hope that they found it interesting and informative.

I've put up some photos of the event here. :-)